A. has this little song he is fond of singing while he plays with his cutting torch and hauls around rusted metal. To the tune of the Beach Boys' Surfin' U.S.A.: "Everybody's gone scrappin', scrappin' U.S.A."
That's right. A. is scrapping again. For those of you who may have missed this fun hobby last year, scrapping refers to the collection and sale of scrap metal. Or what I like to call junk. We live in a really good place for junk, what with all the old pieces of farm machinery that have been thrown into the gullies and woods. There are scrapyards that will buy this stuff from anyone who brings it in, paying cash for rusted old farm machinery and busted-up cars. The metal is then recycled. Last year, prices for scrap metal went through the roof, and A. spent all his weekends collecting and selling scrap. He even bought a cutting torch so he could cut it up, because smaller pieces (called "short steel") sell for a lot more.
Then the prices dropped so low that it wasn't worth bothering with anymore. However, prices have been slowly creeping up, and now that A. has more spare time, he is once again venturing into family members' junk piles and dragging out rusted wagon wheels and swing sets.
I have nothing to do with the scrapping, except going along for the ride when he brings the junk to the scrapyard. We went there yesterday for the first time in months. It hasn't changed much. Same piles of rusted metal, same weirdos working there. Scrapping is a whole world in itself, mostly attracting ex-prisoners and other people you wouldn't want to be alone with in an elevator. And A.
I prefer not to speculate on what that says about him.